At 8:13 AM I received an email and text message from Lake Champlain Transportation notifying me (and all other ferry-watchers) of the inevitable.
I can’t say that I was surprised. After all, I took the ferry from Essex to Charlotte yesterday morning and returned from Charlotte to Essex about 6 hours later. Although the weather yesterday was spectacular, the water had risen a few inches in the time between my two ferry crossings. I commented to my bride last night that the ferry wouldn’t be running for long.
Lake Champlain Transportation’s Heather Stewarts says the ferry between Essex, New York and Charlotte, Vermont shut down because of high water: “The Essex dock is awash, so water is on top of the dock, so it is unsafe for vehicles to drive on and off the dock.” (VPR News)
Of course, if the ferry dock is under water, then Rosslyn boathouse isn’t far behind! As of mid-morning today, the water had risen about 6″ above the floor boards. I’ll be posting some photographs soon. Of course our fingers are crossed that the flood has crested, but a glimpse at the weather forecast — plus factoring in how high the rivers are running — and the odds are that we’re going to see Lake Champlain’s water level rise further.
Andy Nash of the National Weather Service says the lake has already passed 102 feet above sea level in Burlington. “That is a record for the Burlington Waterfront, and even the measurements up at Rouses Point are up at about 102 feet. The all time record that we have for 1869 is just 102.1 feet up at Rouses Point.” Continued rainfall and snowmelt will push the lake even higher. Nash expects the waters to rise as runoff makes its way to the lake over the next couple of days. “We’re getting into uncharted territory now with the lake being this high, and if we get some strong winds, and we get the wave action on top of that will make things worse, so any property, roads that are close to the lake, they’re at risk.” And it takes a long time for water to move out of Lake Champlain. So Nash expects the lake to will stay above flood stage for several weeks. (VPR News)
The good news? So far the winds have remained low, minimizing boathouse damage from large logs and other flotsam surging against the dock, railings and walls.